Rumors of a possible BMW two-seat roadster , dubbed the Z2 , have been swirling for some time now. But with BMW launching one new model after another, talks about the Z2 have been relegated to low whispers. But don’t misinterpret inaction for dead action because BMW still has plans for the Z2, as it has released new details that ought to give us a fresh idea on what to expect from the entry-level roadster .
According to Car and Driver, the Z2 will carry a slew of features unique to the Z4 , including the use of a fabric roof that should help reduce the weight of the sports car . That’s an important characteristic to have in light of another new detail that’s pretty disappointing; the Z2 will come standard in front-wheel drive, which won’t generate the kind of performance and agility as an AWD system.
But its not like the Z2 loses its charm with that shortcoming. After all, BMW is preparing the car to serve a specific purpose and trying to do too much could impede its true identity as an entry-level sports car . The car will share its platform with the new Mini lineup, which adds more credence to the belief that the Z2 will be built with weight savings in mind. This will allow BMW to offer a versatile package to complement the expected choice of four-cylinder engines.
The company has given no indication on the powertrain it plans to use in the Z2, but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t stick to its plans to use a four banger engine that produces between 160 and 230 horses. We could also see as many as 300 horses and all-wheel drive in the top-of-the-line M-Series model. BMW has some choices to make with regards to the engine lineup, but we’re confident it can cook something up from its modular engine architecture. A lot of options seem in play at this point.
According to the source, we can expect to see the Z2 in late 2016 or late 2017, with prices ranging from $30k in its base format to $50k for the AWD Z2 M.
Click past the jump to read more about the future BMW Z2.
Why It Matters
BMW is packaging the Z2 to be a complete unique car that makes no bones about what it has and doesn’t apologize for what it doesn’t have. At its core, the Z2 is being prepped a performance-oriented model that leaves little to the fancy trinkets that adorn its Z4 big brother.
A front-wheel-drive system may not sound impressive now, but it could be a sign that BMW is prepared to make that push toward building models with this drive setup in an attempt to attract a fresh set of buyers that won’t mind if their sports cars don’t have that added RWD dynamics.
Much has been made about what the BMW Z2 is going to look like. As far as our expectations are, we’re looking at a style that’s heavily inspired by the Concept Active Tourer with a chopped top and a sleeker lines. The fabric roof top looks more and more like a certainty at this point.
Ultimately, BMW wants a car that will compete in the entry-level sports car segment. There are a lot of rival models in that market, not the least of which is the famous Mazda MX-5 Miata. But if BMW plays its cards right with the Z2, it’s reasonable to at least expect the MX-5 Miata to sweat the challenge of this new two-seat sports roadster. Then again, most buyers in this market would prefer a RWD Miata to a FWD Z2 — at least we would figure so. Then again, the Miata has no answer to a 300-horsepower, AWD Z2 M.